Baby Orang-Utan Arrives At Monkey World

It's nothing like jungle weather outside but despite the cold a baby orang-utan is quickly becoming king in his new home.

Monkey World - Ape Rescue Centre, near Wareham in Dorset, has been celebrating the arrival of 11-month-old Silvestre.

Silvestre Arrives In Portsmouth

He arrived during the cold snap from Spain where his mother abandoned him after giving birth at Santillana Zoo.

Monkey World keepers say it's time to grow up for the "confident chap'' as he learns about being an orang-utan and not just living with human beings.

He has been meeting his new family in Europe's only orang-utan creche and is getting on well with his two adoptive sisters, Dinda and Lingga.

11 month old Silvestre

Director of Monkey World Alison Cronin said:

"When the weather is cold they can exercise and play inside and have fun as much as they want.

"At the moment we're keeping Silvestre wrapped up warm inside where it's a lovely 22 degrees, so he's doing really well.''

Orang-utans have the longest childhood of the great apes and Silvestre is a typical youngster, shy at first but quickly marking his territory - and his food.

"Silvestre is very happy in himself and very confident so when he first met his new adoptive sisters he just walked right in, walked up and put his hand right out to them, as to say, 'Hi, I'm Silvestre and welcome', and they've been really good with him.

"We're so pleased he's settling in as he's such a tiny little chap,'' Dr Cronin said.

Silvestre has been playing in the specially designed nursery building fitted out with a climbing frame, hammocks and ropes.


With permission from British authorities for Silvestre to be carried on a ferry from Santander to Portsmouth, animal director Jeremy Keeling brought him back to his new home.

"I went over and spent a couple of days with him so he would know me, so it wasn't too much of a shock all of a sudden no friendly face, but now it's maintaining a medium that I'm there but trying to integrate him with the others.

"Being Sumatran is on his side. They're a lot more sociable so therefore happy people, and he is a really happy little boy - just everything is fun.''